Evangelical church pursues alternative oversight after CofE same-sex blessing vote
One of the biggest evangelical churches in London has announced plans to form closer ties with Anglican bodies that take a conservative view of sexuality.
St Helen's Bishopsgate made the announcement in a video message by its pastor, Rev William Taylor.
It follows a controversial vote in the Church of England earlier this month to move forward with plans to introduce same-sex blessings.
In the video message, the bishops are singled out for particular criticism over their leadership on the issue.
Rev Taylor suggested that the views of traditionalist Anglicans were being sidelined by the bishops and that they were putting their desire for "an institutional political consensus" before the authority of the word of God.
"Despite the very substantial minority vote in the House of Clergy and Laity - 40 to 45 per cent against - the bishops seem determined to persist with their proposals, exalting their own views above a very substantial minority of those who cannot accept it," he said.
"Leadership cannot be deemed effective when vast sways refuse to follow."
He expressed his desire for St Helen's to remain within the Church of England and said that the church was actively pursuing a closer union with orthodox Anglican leaders, although he added that the current rift with the bishops means "there can be no long term security for Church of England evangelical churches or clergy".
The video was posted alongside statements of support from Gafcon chair, Archbishop Foley Beach, as well as the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, and other conservative leaders.
Rev Taylor said that St Helen's annual clergy review process will now fall under the supervision of Archbishop Foley.
He added, "The bishops of the Church of England have walked away from us. By contrast, we will continue to walk in closer union with those who uphold the teaching of God's word, and will actively develop stronger gospel partnerships with them."